A little late, but this is my 2014 Year in Review. It’s so hard to summarize an entire year into a few paragraphs and a handful of selected photos. I’ve spent hours over the last few weeks going through photos and videos that I took the year, some of which I’m looking through for the first time. I’m reminded of all the trips taken and places seen, some which seem so long ago but most just seem a few months ago, even if they were from the beginning of 2014. Time flies by as it always does, and the process of writing my Year in Review posts helps cement in my memory the things that I think ought to be remembered. So here goes…
- Vietnam 1⁄19-1⁄25
- NYC-Austin 2⁄2
- AUS->CHS 5⁄24
- CHS->LAS 5⁄28
- AUS->PDX - 6⁄20
- Big Bend 10⁄24
- AUS->CHS 12⁄25
View from our living room of the NYC New Year's Eve fireworks show
Last night Rebecca and I watched the NYC New Year’s Eve fireworks show from our Brooklyn apartment. We are fortunate enough to have a direct view of the Statue of Liberty from our living room, around which the fireworks were clustered. It was a nice, relaxing end to an eventful year.
We moved to New York City in August when an opportunity came up for me to work out of Bazaarvoice’s NYC office for a short period. I have always wanted to live in NYC, and as parents of a 1-something year old, this was perfect timing. Finn, our toddler, wasn’t old enough to have to worry about leaving any friends behind or having to deal with schools in NYC. It wasn’t difficult to tidy up the rest of our lives in Austin by renting out our house, loaning out our cars to friends, and putting everything we didn’t take with us to NYC in storage. I found a 1-month, furnished sublet on Craigslist for the month of August and we used the time to find our “permanent” apartment. Apartment hunting in NYC can be a bit of an ordeal, but in the end we found ourselves deciding between living in the Upper West Side or Park Slope, Brooklyn. Park Slope felt a little more family friendly with its nice parks, walkable streets, and abundance of restaurants and small shops. And so at the beginning of September, we found ourselves residents of a very hip part of Brooklyn.
Memory is really strange. On the one hand, I’m amazed at how fast the last three years of my life has gone by. I remember walking into my hotel room on the day I landed in Stuttgart, a full month before Rebecca would come, and putting down my bags and really wondering what I had gotten myself into. I had decided to take a job in a city I had visited only during my interviews, in a country I had only spent a few days in as a tourist, and here I am sitting down in my hotel room, in need of a shower, exhausted from jet-lag, only then grasping that I had committed myself and Rebecca to living in Stuttgart for at least three years.
I went to Brussels last weekend for FOSDEM 2008, which was held at ULB Campus Solbosh. The free event was a good way to check in with the overall Open Source community and to see all of the interesting things people outside my normal circles are working on.
Friday Night Beer Event Things got off to an memorable start on Friday night. I timed my arrival so that I could attend the Friday night “Pink Elephant” beer event held at the Delirium Cafe.
A few hours ago, Rebecca and I were walking through the Schwabstrasse S-bahn stop in Stuttgart, and as we reached the escalator to go up, we felt a cold wind coming down from the street level. I was wearing only a short-sleeve polo shirt and a pair of light pants, and so we stopped to put on warmer clothing. Only a few hours earlier, we were having paella on a warm Malvarrossa beach in Valencia, Spain.
Stuttgart has these wonderful little hidden little charms that make it a really great place to live. One of our favorites are the Besenwirtschaften, which are traditional Swabian wine houses. They’re operated by the families that own the numerous vineyards around the Stuttgart area, and by law they are allowed to open 4 months out of the year. They are scattered throughout the city and its surrounding towns, and if you find one you can enjoy very simple (and cheap) Swabian food and fresh wine from that year.
A few years ago a good friend and I were walking through Munich’s famed Englischer Garten when we came across some guys surfing in a fast-flowing canal. It was really amusing to see these guys surf back and forth for a minute or two before falling or conceding to the next surfer. While it was highly unusual to see people surfing downtown in a city, it was at least summer-time and quite hot.
Apparently I’ve been to 11% of the world’s countries. I better get truckin’ if I want to join the Traveler’s Century Club anytime soon.
These crazy guys over at Acro-Base made this video of one of them ski-gliding down the Eiger. It’s a terrifying video, at times showing the flier dangerously close to the rocks.
Rebecca and I joined another couple and went to the Stuttgarter Lange Nacht der Museen event earlier tonight, and I'm happy to report that we had quite a lot of fun. The basic idea is that for €12, you have a free pass to all of Stuttgart's museums, including other sites like the famed TV Tower and the Wilhema zoo & botanical gardens, complete with special shuttles running between all the sites.